Posted on May 26, 2007, Ron Whitaker Wal-Mart and Microsoft Sued Over Fire Allegedly Started by XBox
A lawsuit has been filed that names Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and an unnamed power supply manufacturer as defendants. According to the suit, which seeks in excess of $50,000 in unspecified damages, the wiring connecting an XBox 360 to an electrical outlet overheated and started a catastrophic fire that claimed the life of Wade Kline, an infant that lived in the house in Warsaw, IL. “The fire was a direct and proximate result of the overheating of the game‘s power supply and wiring,” says the complaint. Wal-Mart has already filed a motion to move the case from state court to federal court.
Here’s an interesting point. The suit alleges that the fire was started by an XBox 360. But, the fire took place in December of 2004, prior to the launch of the 360. So, was the fire caused by one of the original XBox systems (which had more than 14 million Xbox power cords recalled in February of 2005, citing fire concerns), or is this just an attempt to drag a little cash out of the big boys?
A Microsoft spokesman said, “Microsoft recently learned about this tragic incident that occurred in December 2004. Our sympathy is with the family. However, we are not aware of any evidence that an XBox caused the fire. Also, the complaint specifically states that an XBox 360 was involved, but this version of the product was unavailable for purchase at that time.”